From NBC's Ken Strickland
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman have been talking, according to McConnell's spokesman. While the spokesman couldn't give details of the conversation, McConnell and other Senate Republican leaders have previously said they'd welcome Lieberman into their caucus. An aide to Lieberman also confirmed the conversation with McConnell.
Talks with McConnell apparently came in the wake of Lieberman's discussions yesterday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In that session, according to the Lieberman aide, Reid wanted Lieberman to give up his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee for a lesser position. Lieberman, who was part of the commission that established the panel in 2005 (previously called the Governmental Affairs), considered the proposal "unacceptable" the aide said.
Lieberman also cited that it was his membership within the caucus that allowed Democrats to hold their one-seat majority in the Senate for the past two years. And though he voted against Democrats on Iraq and other national security issues, Lieberman had voted with the party more than some Democrats.
In a written statement yesterday, Reid said, "While I understand that Sen. Lieberman has voted with Democrats a majority of the time, his comments and actions have raised serious concerns among many in our caucus."
Reid was obviously referring to Lieberman's criticism of then-Democratic nominee Obama and Lieberman's campaign appearances for the opponent, McCain.
Lieberman's "preference is to stay in the Democratic caucus," the aide said, but the Connecticut senator told Reid he'd "would explore other options."
Because neither conversation yielded any resolution, the talks will continue, all sides agreed.